Animated Milanese Stitch


needlepoint animation milanese stitch

The Milanese Stitch is a diagonal needlepoint pattern stitch.

It looks like a series of stacked triangles.  The Milanese stitch is useful for backgrounds and larger design areas in needlepoint canvases.  For smaller design areas, I suggest that you first become quite comfortable working the Milanese stitch.

As you can see from the animated graphic, start your first section (green) at the bottom lower right corner and work your way up.  Essentially you bring the needle across 4 intersections of the canvas, then 3, then 2, then 1.


For the alternating row, the long stitch (over 4 intersections) is paired up with (and diagonally adjacent to) the shortest (1) stitch.  Then you continue, 3, 2, 1.  The descending (red) section is the opposite of what you just stitched (green).

Next you continue with the next ascending row in your needlepoint canvas.

Like most needlepoint pattern stitches, the Milanese is a counting stitch.  It’s also one where you’re going to have to compensate more carefully than usual.  You’re going to have to pay close attention to the design pattern, since you can’t fudge as much with this stitch.

I may put up a separate post, at some point in the future, to cover the normally hard-to-explain topic of needlepoint compensating.

Hope you have fun with the Milanese!

© Erin McGrath and, 2012 – 2016.


About Erin

Owner of Needlepoint Land, LLC. Professional in the field for more than 15 years, during which I have managed and/or worked with various high-end needlepoint shops. I enjoy teaching both beginners and advanced stitchers, and have created numerous stitch guides, with speciality thread selections, for in-store customers and private clients. I maintain contact with an extensive network of needlepoint vendors, custom artists, and, most importantly, reliable, high-quality finishers. I look forward to hearing your comments on my blog!

4 responses »

  1. I agree, it’s much easier to keep track of when a contrasting color is used. It definitely requires concentration when done in one color or on a small area.

  2. I recently used this stitch for the first time in a couple of projects. In both cases I used only only one colour and it was quite difficult to follow the pattern. But worth it as it is a lovely stitch which I will definitely use again.

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